Wednesday, March 2, 2011

20 - A Law to Protect Privacy

Sunday, May 23, 2010
36 - A Law to Protect Privacy
A Law to protect Privacy – Hooray for phone tapping!
Apr 26th, 2010 | Filed under Politics, PrivacyLeave a comment | Trackback

The recent phone tapping controversy in Parliament is a boon for us Indians. We’ve long needed a law to protect privacy in India, but till now no politician really cared about it. Under the guise of “security”, we were watching the legislature run roughshod over civil liberties and there seemed to hope in sight since the media was quite apathetic about it.
However, now that politicians themselves seem to have been subjected to privacy violations like phone tapping, there’s a big hue and cry in parliament. MPs would like to preserve their own privacy and since we obviously can’t have a law saying that only politicians are protected, they’re calling a for a law that covers everyone!

Phone tapping and privacy
The story is that the National Technical Research Organization was created after Kargil to take on terrorism. Turns out it was abusing its powers to tap into the phones of others including politicians. I’m very grateful that they chose politicians to pick on. At least that way our “leaders” will give a shit. To protect themselves from this, they’ll have to protect the rest of us as well.
L K Advani has called for a law to protect the privacy of Indian citizens. How fortuitous for us that he was tapped! I can only hope his demand will be taken seriously.
Incidentally this gives the lie to all who claimed that the Indian UID Number would not be abused. The lesson we must learn now is that when there is power, it will be abused given the chance. So we need proper checks and balances at the same time the power is given to any entity to preclude misuse. We shouldn’t have to wait until the abuse is exposed and then scramble to put the checks in place.
For once I’m glad that parliament is being help up. At least it’s over an important issue that needs urgent addressing. I would appreciate it if the opposition didn’t just walk out though. There must be a proper debate in the house over this point by point. Only then can the issue be thrashed out and a valid conclusion reached.
Similar Posts:
Indian Unique National ID will not include Personal Details – September 10, 2009
Trying to make the UID palatable to the common man – November 6, 2009
Worldwide attention on National ID cards in India – June 29, 2009
Why we shouldn’t give the Government too much Power – Savita Bhabi is Proof – July 15, 2009
Universal ID cards. A threat to privacy – December 11, 2006